Neighbours: Former star Miranda Fryer, who played Sky Mangel as a toddler, dies in her sleep aged 34

January 11, 2022

A former child actress who played Sky Mangel in Neighbours as a toddler has died in her sleep, according to reports in Australia.

Miranda Fryer was the first to appear as the on-screen daughter of Kerry Bishop and adopted father Joe Mangel (Linda Hartley-Clark and Mark Little), arriving on Ramsay Street with her mum in 1989, aged 18 months, and starring in the soap for three years.

Following the character's departure from Neighbours, the part was recast as a teenager, played by Stephanie McIntosh.

Ms Fryer died in her sleep, aged 34, on 6 January, her family told TV Tonight in Australia.

According to their report, she was the first child actor ever contracted to the show, and was popular with cast and crew.

As an adult, she had completed a degree in nursing during the pandemic, and married her husband Arthur Pothitis in November 2020.

In a statement published by TV Tonight, her family said: "True soulmates, Miranda and Arthur were making plans to start their family, when one day last week she went to sleep and never woke up. We do not know why.

"She had had some health issues with her heart, maybe her beautiful persona was just too good for this world of ours. We, who all loved her so much, shall treasure the memories she has left us with and mourn our loss forever.

"A beautiful child, stunning teenager, beautiful inside, and out... a woman, with so much love and happiness given and received. So many friends, so much still to offer this world, gone."

Casting director and assistant producer Jan Russ, who worked on Neighbours from its launch in 1985 until 2008, according to IMDB, told TV Tonight: "I feel so very sad to lose one of my cast and especially one so young as Miranda who spent her very young years on the show... I love them like my own and feel the loss when they pass."

Neighbours fan account Erinsborough News also paid tribute, writing on Instagram: "Our deepest sympathies are extended to her family during this time."

Ms Fryer's family are reportedly awaiting a coroner's report.

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